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  • Gabby Womack

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective is a book about the impact of the CBR and their statement on the history of Black Feminism. After the introduction and the Combahee River Collective Statement, Author and professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor interviews Barbara and Beverly Smith, Demita Frazier, and Alicia Garza. Their interviews span from how each of the women got involved in Black feminist activism to what they believe the next focus should be for the movement.


I was initially intimidated by this book but finally dove in this year. It turned out that I was right to be intimidated by this small tome. While I was able to follow most of the conversations on the state of feminism and the organizer's past experiences in their work, I found the text to be hard to follow sometimes. There were concepts that might be difficult to understand for folks who are unfamiliar with the history of feminism and black liberation movements. Despite this, I enjoyed this book for the insight and inspiration. Something that the book mentioned that hasn't been made clear in the mainstream is that they created the term "identity politics" and it meant exactly the same thing as what we now know as "intersectionality." I was really surprised by that!


I recommend this book to those who have learned the basics about feminism and anti-oppression work.

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